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Mapleshade's Vengeance EpilogueHaving finished Mapleshade's Vengeance, I was thinking about how it would lead into the main series. So I decided to write a little epilogue for it. This takes several parts I thought fit nicely.
This little story has a little part with Pinestar and also follows my personal idea that Goosefeather can see the future. This may or may not be true, we will learn the truth in his upcoming ebook (Well if you are reading this after it has come out, you will know if it is or not!).
But anyhow enjoy and please let me know what you think in the Comment Box.
Mapleshade's Vengeance EpiloguePart 1
The Dark Forest was silent. Unlike Starclan where all cats lived together in peace regardless of their loyalties of their former life, the Dark Forest cats were loners, left to wonder on their own and brood over their angers and frustrations, and the acts for which they ended up in the Dark Forest in the first place. Mapleshade was once a loyal ThunderClan warrior who loved her clanmates and had even hoped to lead them one day, but she now liked this silence. Her suffering in life had robbed her of all feeling and she had no desire to be with other cats. The Dark Forest was like her, empty, void of everything except darkness. She padded along through the trees which cast their shadows despite there being no stars or moonlight to cast them. As she moved along silently except for the quiet padding of her own paws she suddenly heard a rustle from the shadow in a bush in the undergrowth. She turned immediately in the direction the sound came snarling as if angry at the idea someone would dare interrupt the silence. "Who's there?" she yowled "Show yourself!" She stared at the bush, and for a moment it remained silence, until a cat stumbled out. The darkness made it hard to make them out clearly, but Mapleshade could see the cat looked ragged and scruffy; their grey speckled coat was a mess of clumped fur. The newcomer didn't immediately look at Mapleshade, he staggered around mumbling things that Mapleshade could not really make out, she thought she heard ‘Darkness… he will bring only darkness…" but she wasn't sure she heard him correctly. The tom then suddenly jerked and turned to face Mapleshade, as if noticing her for the first time. His eyes grew wide and he began to open his mouth as if to say something but Maplesahde cut him off. "You!" she snarled. When she finally saw the cats face, she recognized him. "You are that ThunderClan medicine cat.. Goosefeather.. what are you doing here?". Goosefeather just stared at her for a long moment before he started to mutter "He will bring darkness, so much darkness". Mapleshade tilted her head, her rage giving in slightly to curiosity. Mapleshade had a lasting hatred for ThunderClan medicine cats, and it took a lot of will power not to leap on this pathetic old tom and claw his throat out. But his words caught her attention, if there was someone who could bring darkness, she wanted to know. "Who…who will bring darkness?" she meowed in an almost polite tone. Goosefeather's head suddenly jerked upwards as he yowled loudly "Tigerkit!" the sudden change in the tom made Mapleshade jump back in surprise, but he took no notice and continued. "He will only bring darkness, suffering, death!" he then dropped his head and his cold gaze met Mapleshade's making her shudder involuntarily "And you….". He trailed off before continuing "You..you are always there… always in the shadows, watching". Mapleshade blinked in surprise, before she began to understand. Despite her hate for medicine cats, she knew all too well they could see signs and omens, after all it was an omen read by the former medicine cat Ravenwing that had destroyed her life. Although she did not understand how, she believed this pathetic old medicine cat had seen the future, he knew that the ThunderClan kit Tigerkit would one day bring great suffering to the clans, and she was there watching, perhaps guiding him from the shadows… As she came to this conclusion, she heard Goosefeather say "You must stop him…the darkness…" before he broke his gaze and started wondering around mumbling again. The temptation to kill this cat had gone, ThunderClan would probably suffer more having him alive anyway and he had brought her some very interesting information. She gave off a great murmr of laughter for the first time since her suffering had begun all those seasons ago..
Pinestar opened his eyes to darkness blinking several times unsure where he was. "Hello Pinestar", he sat up startled at the unfamiliar voice and turned to see a she-cat with a ragged tortoiseshell coat sitting in the shadows. "Where am I.. is this StarClan?" he asked in confusion. "Yes" the she-cat replied. He looked upwards at the dark sky "Why is it so dark? I cannot see the stars". The she-cat stood and walked towards him "Not all of StarClan is covered in starlight, I needed to bring you somewhere prying ears would not overhear us." Pinestar returned his gaze to the she-cat "Why? Who are you? Why am I here?" The she-cat stopped a mouse length in front of Pinestar and settled down curling her tail over her front paws, as she looked directly at Pinestar and took on a grim tone "Never mind who I am, you are here because I must tell you something, something about Tigerkit." "Is he in danger?" Pinestar croaked in fear. "No, he is fine, well he is for now…" the she-cat meowed calmly. "What.. what do you mean for now? Is something going to happen to Tigerkit?" Pinestar asked anxiously. The she-cat let out a small sigh "He will die" she said bluntly making Pinestar gasp in shock, but she continued before he could interrupt "That is why I brought you here alone, the rest of StarClan would not be pleased if they knew I had told you this." Scared and shocked Pinestar stuttered "Why..why would they not tell me such a thing? StarClan watch over us to protect us! They would never…." The she-cat raised her tail to silence him "StarClan are not all powerful, while they try and guide the clans they cannot save everyone, and they will not save a cat if they think the clans will suffer for it." "What do you mean? I don't understand, tell me what is going to happen to Tigerkit!" Pinestar's meowed his tone beginning to become a growl as his confusion turned to anger. Keeping her calm tone, the she-cat continued "Tigerkit is the son of the clan leader, and as you would expect this will lead to a certain pride. This pride will lead him to wish to prove himself to be a great warrior like his father" "Are you saying Tigerkit will die trying to prove himself to be worthy of being my son? I won't let that happen! Tell me how, I will stop him!" Pinestar meowed, not disguising the fear in his voice. The she-cat let out another sigh "I cannot tell you that, StarClan can often see things, but they are never clear… all we know is that Tigerkit will die.. and we believe it will be because he will try too hard to prove himself to be a great warrior like yourself." Pinestar slumped down on the ground as if utterly defeated "Then what can I do? I can't let my kit die!" he asked pleadingly. "That is why I brought you here alone" the she-cat meowed "There is one way you may be able to save him, but StarClan would never accept such a thing." "What is it? Tell me I will do anything!" The she-cat did not respond immediately and instead let her gaze wonder upwards before returning it to Pinestar "I see you have become good friends with that Kittypet." Taken back by the change of topic Pinestar blinked several times before answering "Jake? I have spoken to him, but what does that have to do with anything? Are you questioning my loyalty to my clan?" the she-cat let out a small murmr of laughter "No of course not, but you have at least thought about what it would be like to be a kittypet haven't you?" Shocked at the accusation Pinestar replied defensively "Of course I have thought about it, surely every clan cat has wondered what it would be like to live such an easy life. But I would never abandon by clan, I have given eight lives to protect my clan and I will continue to serve them until I breath the last breath of my ninth!" The she-cat looked at Pinestar in amusement as if she were being told by a kit he would be the strongest warrior that ever lived. "I do not doubt your loyalty Pinestar. I asked you because I believed the only way to save Tigerkit is for you to leave ThunderClan, and become a kittypet" Taken back in utter shock, Pinestar just stared at her with his mouth gaping, until he shook himself back to his senses "What on earth are you talking about?" "Think about it." She meowed in her calm tone "Tigerkit will die trying to prove himself to be a great warrior like his father, so what if his father wasn't seen as such a great warrior?" Pinestar opened his mouth to reply, but the she-cat raised her tail to silence him before continuing "Yes his life would be hard, others would judge him for his father who abandoned his Clan, but he would not be a young excited kit who wishes to be like his father, he may feel a need to prove himself, but I don't believe he will die doing so" Pinestar sat silently letting the proposal sink in before he asked "What about ThunderClan? I can't just abandon them" he asked. "You have a good deputy who would lead your clan well, they may suffer a loss of pride for having their leader become a kittypet, but they will remain strong." The she-cat dropped her gaze before returning it sternly "I cannot promise he will not die, but I can give you a chance he may live. I know better than anyone what it is like to lose a kit" For a second Pinestar saw true sadness in the she-cat's eyes, he believed this cat had suffered great loss, but as he considered whether to ask her about it, her gaze changed to one of solid determination. "Will you trade your pride for this chance to save your only kit?" she asked him, looking at him unblinking. Pinestar took a deep breath, this was not something that should be decided lightly, but for a father there was only one answer and this she-cat who knew great pain knew that "I will, I will leave ThunderClan and become a kittypet in the hopes it will save my kit". As he made his declaration, Pinestar started to fade, but before he awoke back in ThunderClan, he heard the fading words of the she-cat "Thank you" and although he may have imagined it, he thought he heard a great murmr of laughter. After he had faded and returned to his precious clan Mapleshade stared into the dark sky and yowled "Fool!" before breaking into another murmr of laughter.
"Tigerkit, you have reached the age of six moons, and it is time for you to be apprenticed. From this day, until you received your warrior name, you will be known as Tigerpaw. I ask StarClan to watch over you and guide you until you find in your paws the strength and courage of a warrior." "Thistleclaw, you are ready to take on an apprentice. You have received excellent training from Adderfang, and you have shown yourself to be loyal and brave. You will be the mentor of Tigerpaw, and I expect you to pass on all you know to Tigerpaw." I had a far better mentor than Addefang Thistleclaw thought as he approached to touch noses with his new apprentice. As he looked down at the young Tigerpaw he saw a great ferocity in his eyes and knew he would make him into ThunderClans greatest warrior. After his first day with his new apprentice, Thistleclaw settled down in his nest, but he had no intention of falling into a deep sleep as he closed his eyes. Moments after he closed his eyes, he reopened them into darkness, where a she-cat was waiting. "Welcome Thistleclaw" she meowed. "Hello Mapleshade" he replied "I assume you watched the ceremony? "Of course, as expected you were mentored to Tigerpaw." she meowed. "That apprentice has great potential, do not waste your time being soft with him, do not forget the training you have learned here and use it to make him the greatest warrior the clans have ever known." "When I am done with him every cat will know to fear his name, I will make sure of that" he meowed with great pride. Mapleshade purred "Good, but don't think being a mentor means you are done with your training, now come, the stronger you become, the stronger you can make that little apprentice!" she meowed as she lead him deeper into the Dark Forest.
Ravenpaw looked on in fear as Oakheart and Redtail fought fearlessly, but in the turmoil a rock slipped and tumbled towards them. Redtail managed to escape, but Oakheart was caught and killed instantly by the falling rock. Ravenpaw stared on in shock, but as he recovered his senses and was about to go and check on Redtail, he noticed his mentor was approaching the deputy. He let out a sigh of relief; Redtail would be fine if Tigerclaw was there, as much as Ravenpaw feared his mentor, he knew he was ThunderClan's best warrior. But Tigerclaw was stalking towards his deputy, Ravenpaw titled his head, was there another RiverClan warrior he could not see beyond the rocks? As he thought this, Tigerclaw leaped directly at Redtail. Redtail turned in shock and before he had a chance to defend himself Tigerclaw had killed him. Ravenpaw swallowed a yowl of shock, shaking in fear he turned and ran as fast as he could. But as he turned, in the corner of his eye he caught a shadow. In his shock Ravenpaw paid it no attention, but had he stopped and looked he could have seen it was a shadow of a cat watching over the battle at sunningrocks, and had he pricked his ears to listen, he may have heard a murmr of laughter and the words "Now, my true revenge begins…"
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